Fantasy Football: The Ideal Line-up & Tactics

A successful and well- grounded line- up is the most important aspect in Fantasy Sports. This column identifies some hints & strategies regarding Fantasy Football. An Advice: The following aspects about hints & strategies are only with regards to the line- up and tactics. The general hints for Fantasy Sports are in the column ‘General hints & strategies’.


A Practical and Well- Grounded Formation


There are certain guidelines, in which you have to select your formation. You can not choose 11 strikers, of course. But you have got the choice for 3, 4 or 5 defenders. Here it is also important to do research and to collect as much information as possible. Which teams will face? Are the teams known for a solid defense or offensive football? Will there be low- scoring (you draft more defenders) or high scoring matches (more offensive players)? That´s why your ideal formation should differ for each league and each matchday. This is the way to  use your tactical skills. A small advice: many users often select a lot of offensive players. In many cases, this is a good choice because it is more common that they earn more points easily. But in our opinion, this is not always the key for success because defenders can score and assist, too. We lately won a Fantasy Football- league of 350 participants using a formation with 5 defenders and 3 midfielders. This example illustrates that defensive line- ups might be successful, too. 

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Scoring Machines Are Essential for Your Fantasy Football- Team


Every user is following this slogan. In reality, this is very complicated and you have to obey several aspects: 

A very important aspect is the selection of players that are responsible for freekicks, cornerkicks and penalties. Penalty shooters score a lot and freekick/corner shooters have got many assists. They generally achieve many points.Another aspect is the selection of your midfield players. We think they should be offensive because they score and assist more and get less yellow and/or red bookings than defensive midfield players. So you should prefer an average offensive midfielder to any defensive midfield star.


The last important aspect is the position of the players in the providers: It might occur that the position of a player in reality and Fantasy Sports (e. g. in FanTeam or Fanaments) are different. For example, player Z is a defender in the platforms although he is playing as a midfielder in reality. He will be judged like a defender. As defenders receive more points for scoring than midfielders, even though he plays a midfield position, the providers will overrate this player. On top of that, this player might receive the bonus for ‘no conceeded goals’. So the users, who have drafted player Z for their teams, will get a signicant advantage.


Your Team Has to Harmonize


We think this sub- point is one of the most important ones for Fantasy Football. Have a look for the following example: Team A faces Team B on this matchday. Imagine your fantasy team consists of 3 defenders of Team A and 3 strikers of Team B. What are the consequences? No matter of the result, the points of these 6 players will tend to neutralize. You will only gain a few or no points with these players. Your position in the league will probably be somewhere in the middle and you will not make any cash. The cash prize is paid out to the first positions and you are on the same level than the worst player.To conclude, the players of your Fantasy Football- team have to fit (harmonize). Your strikers must be able to collect points without getting negative points for your defenders and goalkeeper.


That´s the way to win the tournament and make cash, A small advice: It is a good choice to draft only the 3 defenders of Team A:  If Team A does not concede a goal, your 3 defenders will receive a lot of points. In case of many conceded goals, your team is worse off, of course, and it could be hard to win the league. In case, you would have chosen only 2 or even a single defender of Team A, this situation probably wouldn´t have changed. You can see the characteristics of sport bets in Fantasy Sports: You select the 3 defenders of Team A and bet for a low amount of conceded goals for Team A. If you are right, you will win. Otherwise you will lose.


The Ideal Captain and the Representative


The points of your captain will be doubled. That´s the case for the actual providers of Fantasy Football in Europe. It is a decisive factor for winning or losing. Your captain should constantly perform well, be completely fit and, it best, score a lot or be responsible for the penalties. On the other side, your captain should rarely receive yellow or red cards and his team should be favourite on the matchday. To sum it up, the captain should receive the most points of our team. It might make sense to save budget in the other parts of the team to select a very good player as your captain.


For example:  player Z has got a very high market value on the matchday because his team is playing against the bottom team of the league and he is an ‘in-form’- striker. There are two options: player Z is overpriced and no option for your fantasy team. On the other hand, the price is justified. In case of the second option, you should draft the player and select him as your captain. The savings for the rest of the team are definitely worth it.


In case of a sudden absence of your player, you select a representative for your captain. This player is supposed to have the second highest score potential for the matchday. An advice: there is only a representative on FanTeam. A small advice: Sometimes your captain should differentiate from the mainstream. If you select a captain that differs from many other players, an excellent performance of your chosen one could be a key success factor to win the league. In this case, you should have a look for the price distribution of the price pool. In case of a ‘winner takes it all’- league, the choice for an extraordinary captain makes sense. In case of a league that consists of only a few players, this trial is not favourable.

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Substitutes for Your Fantasy team

Besides your starting line- up, you do need a substitute for almost every league. The substitute replaces a player of the starting team that is abscence for the whole match. It is important to obey that the sub player is linked to the position and might change the formation in some situations.

Example: You are playing with a 4-3-3- system. Your substitute is a midfielder. In case of an absence of one of your defenders, your sub player is replacing him and the new formation is a 3-4-3. This is important to obey for the draft of your team. It might be annoying that you are playing without a striker (earns many points) after a substitution. Another disadvantage is the loss of harmony of your team after a substitution. 


You should always take into account that your sub player is playing, too. You still need a good and harmonizing team that generates many points. A small advice: You can find out the settings of substitution players in the league overview.

Furthermore, we saw many cases, in which player chose a cheap and weak sub for their fantasy team. As long as you know that all players of your first line- up are definitely playing, this definitely makes sense. In case of doubt, you should invest a bit more. In our opinion, there are often cases that the substitution player occurs. So, the following question arises: Am I sure that all players of my first line- up are playing and my sub player is irrelevant? The point of final draft of your fantasy team is the best indicator to answer this:


Case 1: We check the match previews 20 minutes before the kickoff. We are relatively sure that all players are starting. We can save budget for the substitution player.

Case 2: We check the match previews 8 hours before the kickoff. Here there is a possibility that our substitute replaces someone. We have to invest a bit more for our sub player.

Case 3: Today it is the start of the matchday and the deadline date for our team and the most matches start two days later. There is a quite high possibility that a player of your first team misses the match the day after tomorrow. In this case, our substitution player should have almost the same quality than our players of the starting line- up. Draft the ideal substitution player with the ideal position for your formation. and the chosen league.


The Key for Success: Learning by Doing


There are definitely more possibilities to find your ideal line- up for your fantasy team. Make your own thoughts how to gain an advantage to your competitors. You will improve your knowledge of Fantasy Football after a while. Use freeroll- tournaments on FanTeam to get used to the subject. 


In case you haven´t read about the general hints and strategies of Fantasy Sports, you can catch up here. You should have a look on our Fantasy Sports- forum, too. 


If you would like to learn about the basics of Fantasy Football, click on the column ‘What is Fantasy Sports?’. The column ‘Find a provider’ gives you all information about the provider of Fantasy Football. If you have got any further questions, you can contact us via the contact form at any time. The following column (and/or our forum) gives you the opportunity to discuss about Fantasy Football with other users. Watch out: Any form of spam will be deleted.

On “", you can find four major parts. Every part should help you to become a successful DFS- manager. If you would estimate you as a “Fantasy Football Beginner”, you should go through the parts “from left to the right”.


That is how you firstly learn about the basics of Fantasy Football and the providers. In the third step, you can improve your abilities with hints and strategies. After the street steps, even during these steps, you can contact fellow players in the forum.


These are the four columns – you can decide on further steps (For a better overview all subparts of the parts are listed a bit below).


If you would like to learn more about Fantasy Sports and improve your performance, we recommend you the column Background Knowledge. We especially recommend you our forum.


Still undecided? Find out more about  possible DFS strategies and other important fantasy sports information in our forum. Find out more about other providers in the section Find a Provider. Get help in the sections What is Fantasy Sports? and learn about hints and strategies in the section background knowledge.